Chapter 15: Managing the use of natural resources: how ecosystem accounts helped in the Philippines
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The Philippines is a country rich in natural resources, such as minerals, agricultural land and fisheries, but this wealth is threatened by fast economic growth, rapid urbanisation and climate change. Evidence-based decision making can help balance the need for economic growth with sustainable resource management. Natural capital accounts (NCA), in particular, can provide the data and analysis needed to effectively manage the often competing claims on natural resources, and can help monitor and assess possible development options. Over the past few years, the Philippines has emerged as a global leader in the field, the first developing country to produce ecosystem accounts for two pilot sites – Southern Palawan and the Laguna de Bay basin. These ecosystem accounts have not only provided critical information on the current degraded states of the two pilot sites, but have also helped identify policy options to improve the management of these resources. Moreover, the process of developing the ecosystem accounts has helped build broad-based support for natural capital accounting and its use in decision making. There are thus plans for the ecosystem accounts to be (1) used for policy and scenario analysis, (2) scaled up to the provincial and national level, and (3) institutionalised as a regular function of government.

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